C.L.R. James, 1956
The Greek form of government was the city-state. Every Greek city was an independent state. At its best, in the city state of Athens, the public assembly of all the citizens made all important decisions on such questions as peace or war. They listened to the envoys of foreign powers and decided what their attitude should be to what these foreign powers had sent to say. They dealt with all serious questions of taxation, they appointed the generals who should lead them in time of war. They organized the administration of the state, appointed officials and kept check on them. The public assembly of all the citizens was the government. Continue reading
A letter written by Sylvia Wynter to her academic colleagues after the Los Angeles riots in 1992
Historically, African-American people believed that the construction of a home-place, however fragile and tenuous (the slave hut, the wooden shack), had a radical dimension, one’s homeplace was the one site where one could freely construct the issue of humanization, where one could resist. Black women resisted by making homes where all black people could strive to be subjects, not objects, where we could be affirmed in our minds and hearts despite poverty, hardship, and deprivation, where we could restore to ourselves the dignity denied us on the outside in the public world.
Discourse on Colonialism (1955)
Letter to Maurice Thorez (1956)
Writing in collaboration with Cornelius Castoriadis and Grace Lee, James examines the practical process of social revolution in the modern world. Inspired by the October 1956 Hungarian workers’ revolution against Stalinist oppression, as well as the wildcat strikes of U.S. workers (against Capital and the union bureaucracies), James and his co-authors looked ahead to the rise of new mass emancipatory movements by African Americans and anti-colonialist/anti-imperialist currents in Africa and Asia.
“Springing forth from the utopian flames of self-emancipation kindled by the workers councils of the Hungarian Revolution, this pivotal book offers a socialist indictment of the miserabilism of state capitalism and calls for the ongoing rejection of both vanguardism and the bureaucratic rationalism of state power.”
– Ron Sakolsky